Connecticut is quite literally stuck in the middle between two states where emergencies have been recently declared over the migrant crisis, Massachusetts and New York.
On August 8, 2023, Governor of Massachusetts Maura Healey sent a carefully-worded letter to Homeland Security Department Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas declaring a state of emergency due to the "rapid and unabating increases in the number of families with children and pregnant people - many of them newly arriving migrants and refugees - living within the state but without the means to secure safe shelter in our communities." In fact, the number of families that had enrolled in the state's shelter program more than quadrupled over the previous six months.
Healey, who was careful not to misgender any "pregnant people" in her announcement, alleged that the newcomers to the state were naturally drawn to Massachusetts because it has proudly been "a beacon to those in need" but regretted that the state has been unable to keep up with skyrocketing demand for shelter sites.
The Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, shares similar concerns, as the city is facing its own crisis after busloads of migrants were dropped off by Governor Ron DeSantis (FL) and Governor Gregg Abbott (TX).
Adams declared a state of emergency over the migrant crisis in October last year, after some 17,000 migrants arrived during the previous six-month period. At the time, he estimated the influx of refugees and migrants would cost the city nearly $1 billion.
Two days after Healey's state of emergency declaration, Adams renewed his call for federal funding, now projecting $12 billion in expenses to house and care for the migrants "if things don't change". Why does that sound like a threat?
Midtown Manhattan is just 30 miles away from one of the wealthiest towns in the country, Greenwich, Connecticut. The state also shares its northern border with Massachusetts.
How long before this migrant crisis spills over the border into Connecticut?
After all, Connecticut should be an attractive option since it has had a law on the books since 2013 that ensures ICE officers have only limited compliance from local law enforcement in the deportation of those migrants who are here illegally. It's called the Trust Act.
The East Haven Police Department has a policy (No. 428.2) which explicitly says it will not honor an ICE detainer. Hartford, which is just 25 miles from the Massachusetts border, will not arrest or detain a person based solely on their immigration status unless there is a criminal warrant.
Then in 2019 Governor Lamont signed further legislation to tighten up loopholes in the Trust Act. The new legislation prevents law enforcement from detaining an illegal immigrant on a civil immigration detainer unless it's accompanied by a warrant signed by a judge and the person is guilty of a serious felony or is on a terrorist watch list. It also limits law enforcement sharing with ICE and requires law enforcement to inform an individual when ICE has requested their detention.
Lamont said that the modifications that sealed Connecticut's status as a sanctuary state simply "strengthen the important relationship between local law enforcement and their communities."
Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz slammed Trump's immigration policies as "irresponsible and insensitive" while boasting that "vibrant immigrant communities are part of the fabric that makes Connecticut great.”
Wonder if they will still feel the same way if busloads of refugees and migrants start unloading in front of the Capitol in Hartford?
Or come rolling through Lamont's hometown of Greenwich, heading down tony Greenwich Avenue while seeking shelter at the exclusive Delamar Hotel? Can you imagine the local reactions?